The Chase

Bucky Bitters struggles to escape the airborne affections of Derpy Hooves after a chance encounter caused them to bump noses together. His real mistake was trying to comfort the mare after the snoot-bump. Little does the poor stallion realise that their meeting was only the prologue to a journey that will change not only his life, but the lives around him forever.

This story is a sequel to The Catch

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“Did you have a nice time at the coronation gala?” Bucky asked, looking down at Luna.

“I had a lovely time,” Luna replied. She looked up at Bucky, a broad smile upon her muzzle. “Have an eventful night?”

“A bit.” Bucky stared out the window. Outside, the sun was far too bright, too blinding, almost painful. His eyes seemed to sensitive. A part of him wished that he was back in bed, perhaps spooning with a certain grey pegasus mare.

“Bucky?” Luna sat down on the floor and looked up at the unicorn beside her.

“Yes, Luna, what is it?” Bucky replied.

“Bucky, what if I told you there was another way…” Luna’s voice was soft, almost a whisper, silken and smooth. “What if I told you I knew of a way for you to stay with your family… to have a long life… to have the ability to protect Equestria from your enemies… and not grow wings?”

His head jerking around with an almost mechanical movement, Bucky stared down at Luna, his eyes narrowing and his brows furrowing. “Luna, we both know that my candle is already almost burnt out. My string has been cut short. We both know that what is wrong with me can’t be fixed.”

“But what if it could?” Luna’s eyes were almost luminous, they were wide pools of teal tinted moonlight. “What if I told you that it was possible to put some years back… to give you time… to give you power.

Growling, Bucky ripped his gaze away from Luna’s eyes. “Luna, there are some things you shouldn’t bring up in a discussion, no matter how close you are to a pony.”

Her expression changing, becoming cold and angry, Luna’s eyes flashed for a moment, her pupils becoming slitted while Bucky was turned away, unable to see them. “Bucky… it doesn’t have to end this way… don’t throw your life away… there are options—”

“I AM NOT THROWING MY LIFE AWAY!” Bucky roared, whirling on Luna.

 

 

With a gasp, Bucky awoke. He felt cold and clammy, his muscles ached, and his head hurt. He had been dreaming, but he was unable to remember what he had been dreaming about. He pulled himself out of the bed, stumbled, blinded by the bright light coming in the window, and he almost toppled over as he struggled to regain his balance. He felt a peculiar sense of weakness.

Free from the blankets, he began to shiver even though the room was warm. His teeth began to chatter as he headed for the bathroom with a warm shower on his mind. Stepping into the bathroom, the first thing he did was close the blinds, darkening the room just a bit.

He turned on the water, got it as hot as he dared, and climbed into the shower. As the hot water sprayed down upon his sweat soaked pelt, a painful feeling of bitterness crept into Bucky’s mind. He didn’t know why he felt angry, just that he felt angry; like he had been cheated, screwed over, that he hadn’t been given what he deserved.

He was Equestria’s protector. He was certain that he was owed a little more than he was getting. With this realisation, a tiny spark of resentment kindled in his heart. He was a good father, a devoted husband, a dedicated protector. What did he have to show for it? Gritting his teeth, Bucky kicked the side of the tub as he allowed the hot water to soak into salty, sweat covered hide.

 

 

“I had a very nice time,” Boadicea said to Sentinel, her crest rising somewhat as she spoke. “Thank you for taking me to the dance, that was gracious of you.”

Bowing his head, Sentinel replied, “It was my privilege.”

“Oh stop that… it leaves a female flustered.” Boadicea’s crest rose a little more. She tittered for a moment and then brought herself under control. “Sentinel, I was up all night thinking… you… you and Diamond Tiara left a lot on my mind. I wanted to thank you for being straightforward with me.” And Boadicea was feeling more than a little flustered. Unaware that she was emitting pheromones, her wings fluttered at her sides, perfuming the air around her.

Feeling a fire in his cheeks and his neck, Sentinel blinked as his ears perked forwards. He sniffed, smelling something that left him quite excited. There was a spicy smell, something intoxicating, and it was coming from Boadicea. He felt his muscles contract. Unable to control himself, Sentinel felt his body seize up as the flehmen response overtook his body, causing his lips to peel back from his teeth, his tongue lolled out, and he sucked in air, drawing scents over his vomeronasal organ.

“Sentinel… I didn’t know you could make such funny faces!” Boadicea began to laugh and she took a step backwards as Sentinel made a most peculiar sound. And then, her eyes going as wide as saucers, Boadicea noticed something. Something blue was dangling down. “Oh my, Sentinel… are you happy to see me?”

Shaking himself, Sentinel who realised that something had gone wrong in the worst possible way, forced his legs to move. He ran around to the stairs, ran up the stairs, almost flying, down the hall, and then into his room, where he slammed the door behind him.

“What just happened?” Berry Punch asked. She stood in the kitchen archway, having witnessed everything that had just taken place. “Oh nuts… he’s going to torture himself over that for weeks.”

“I don’t know what just happened,” Boadicea replied.

Sniffing, Berry Punch felt a tingle in her nostrils. She eyed Boadicea and her eyes narrowed. She took a step forwards, her brows furrowing, her nostrils flaring. Berry Punch, now almost holding her breath, came snoot to beak with Boadicea and whispered, “Did you just rub one out?”

The griffoness’ eyes went wide and her beak dropped open.

“You stink like sexy griffoness,” Berry Punch said in a low conspiratorial whisper. The wily earth pony mare tried to breathe as little as possible. “You just overloaded poor Sentinel’s brain.”

After letting out a nervous caw, Boadicea stared down at the floor, unable to look Berry Punch in the eye any longer. “How did you know?”

“I just know these things… Sentinel is almost feral when it comes to his senses. He’s not like us. He’s a wild thing. He marks his territory. He scent rubs on stuff. He’s aggressive and territorial and I’ve seen him lifting his leg outside to lay claim to this entire area. If you’re not careful, he’ll mark you. I’ve seen him mark Diamond Tiara a couple of times now,” Berry Punch replied in a Berry serious voice.  

“Is that why he rubs his head on stuff, and even other ponies?” Boadicea began to feel a little self conscious and all of her feathers fluffed out.

Smirking, Berry Punch nodded. She backed away, her smirk becoming a grin, and she took pleasure in watching poor Boadicea squirming. “Go take a shower before you talk to Sentinel again.”

“But… that was where I scratched my itch…”

 

 

Her lips pressed into a straight line, Celestia looked at Tourmaline and with great patience, she waited. Tourmaline stood on Dusk Chaser’s bed, her head held down low near the comatose unicorn’s. Reaching out a hoof, she touched Dusk Chaser’s cheek.

“He’s sick. His mind feels all wrong. Broken. There are things in there that don’t feel like they belong,” Tourmaline said to her mother.

“What do you mean, Tourmaline? Can you explain?” Celestia asked.

“Almost like a second pony was in there,” Tourmaline replied.

“Well, he’s schizophrenic, so that explains that.” Celestia heaved a weary sigh and watched as her adopted daughter continued to poke and prod.

“I don’t know what that means, but his mind is broken and… and… he has memories that aren’t his own. Dark memories. Bad memories. Mama, it scares me to touch them.” Unable to bear it any longer, Tourmaline stepped away, lept off of the bed, and ran to her mother. “They’re not his memories.”

“Hmm.” Celestia felt puzzled. Dusk Chaser was one mystery layered over another.

“I can’t stay… I can still feel the sickness… mama, it’s bad,” Tourmaline said, whimpering as she cowered beneath the tall white alicorn.

“Which is why we need to heal him, he’s suffering.” Celestia looked down between her front legs and saw Tourmaline staring up at him.

“No, mama, you don’t understand… the memories are there… but whatever left those memories behind… it’s not there any longer… it is like a big gaping hole where a thorn is pulled out.” Tourmaline squeaked and squeezed her hind legs together to keep from urinating upon herself in fear. Letting out a shrill cry, she ran from the hospital room as fast as her legs could carry her.

A cold chill ran down Celestia’s spine and she wondered what might scare Tourmaline so much…

 

 

“Sentinel?” Berry Punch knocked on Sentinel’s door and then leaned up against it.

“Go away!” Sentinel shouted.

Berry closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Sentinel, I can’t do that. Come on, talk to me, Sentinel… I’m not leaving and I’m coming in there, so unless you are doing something private, I’m coming in right now.”

“No!”

Berry Punch opened the door with her eyes still closed, her ears strained for any sounds of a personal and private nature. When she heard nothing, she opened her eyes and looked at Sentinel, who was curled up on his bed, miserable looking, with bleary reddened eyes. She shut the door behind her, approached the bed, sat down, and her ears drooped down to the sides of her face.

“Go away!”

“No.” Berry Punch shook her head. “Sentinel, this happens to every colt. It happens in front of fillies that you like, it happens in front of your sisters, and it happens to little colts in front of their own mothers. It just happens, okay?”

“I wish I was DEAD!”

“Oh come on, it’s not that bad… it just happens. My brother did it… he was hugging me at the time. It took him months before he could hug me again.” Berry Punch’s expression was one of soft compassion.

“Oh stars… that’s horrible…” Sentinel’s mouth fell open.

Nodding, Berry Punch looked Sentinel in the eye. “Sentinel, this is going to start happening to you. There isn’t much you can do about it, so you might as well make peace with it now. You have sisters that aren’t yours by blood, and they’re growing up, and there are a lot mares and females in the house that are going to trigger some responses from you. Just remember, no matter what happens, all of us still love you and will not think any less of you.”

“No,” Sentinel said in a pained whimper. “I can’t stand how I’m feeling right now… if this starts to happen all the time I’m never leaving my room again.”

“It will happen at home, it will happen at school, and it will happen anywhere there are females. Look, Sentinel, you have a powerful sense of smell and you’re a bit more… primitive than other colts. You have powerful instincts. I can’t candy coat this for ya, this is going to be rough on you.” Berry Punch blinked but did not break eye contact with her son.

“Well… I’m not going to school anymore… that settles that,” Sentinel said, his voice an uncharacteristic whine.

“Oh come on Sentinel, suck it up.” Berry’s eyes narrowed and her ears perked upwards. “I know you’ve slipped out around Diamond Tiara.”

“That’s different! We know each other… it is still really embarrassing though.”

“But you don’t know Boadicea as well as you do Diamond Tiara. I understand. Have you checked out Diamond Tiara?” Berry Punch asked in her usual blunt manner.

Closing his eyes, Sentinel nodded.

“I’m guessing you’ve sniffed her?” Berry asked.

Squeezing his eyes shut even tighter, Sentinel nodded again.

“Have you had a response from her like the one you had with Boadicea?” Berry’s voice was soft, soothing, comforting. It was almost hypnotic and she could tell that it was having an effect upon Sentinel.

Sentinel shook his head no. “No, nothing ever quite like that. Berry… I wanted… I wanted to do… I wanted to do things… the feeling was so strong that it scared me. This is why I can’t go back to school. I felt like an animal… I wanted to pounce on Boadicea and do awful things to her.”

“That is very, very honest of you to say, Sentinel.” Berry’s ears fell back down to the sides of her face and her eyes softened. “You didn’t do those things though. You came upstairs. You remained in control. You feel guilty for even thinking about it, which means you have pretty good control over your more bestial nature. I think that maybe, you are being too hard on yourself and you need to acknowledge your own self control.”

“All it takes is one moment where I lose my self control… and it is all over for me,” Sentinel said in a fearful whine. He opened his eyes and looked at Berry, his eyes full of tears.

Berry Punch shook her head, causing her limp ears to flop around. “Sentinel, be realistic. Stuff happens. Look, we’ll play this by ear, okay? If this starts to be a problem, we’ll get some pheromone blockers for you and the problem will go away. But that is a crutch and it might hurt you in the long run. You’re going to have to work on self control and self discipline. And I will be here every step of the way for you. And I know this is embarrassing, but we might have to get you a false sheath to help you control your urges.”

“What’s a false sheath?” Sentinel asked, his voice an embarrassed squeak.

“Sentinel, a false sheath is something that a colt or a stallion can stick his penis in so that he can relieve himself in a controlled environment,” Berry replied.

The colt, embarrassed beyond words, covered his face with his wings and began to snuffle as he lay there, limp upon the bed.

“Sentinel, you are going to have to grow up a little and try to be mature about this. If you are having strong urges, you’re going to need coping mechanisms… means of control. Come spring, when spring is actually in the air, you going to be what, nine years old? You were born in the spring, right? You’re about that age where the urges start… but when spring is in the air, things are going to get rough for you. And it will be even rougher come summer. We might as well start working on solutions now, before there is a serious problem.”

“It’s already a serious problem!”

“I know, Sentinel, I know.” Berry Punch reached out her front hoof and touched Sentinel on his hind leg. Much to her relief, Sentinel did not jerk his leg away. She began to stroke him with a gentle touch. “But you did good. You held back on your urges, and I’m proud of you.”

Sentinel uncovered his face and looked at Berry. “Thank you… I feel a little better…”

 

 

 

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